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 Naruto in a Nutshell

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PostSubject: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:04 am

Basic Terms:

Shinobi—Ninjas.

The Village Hidden in the Leaves—Generally called Leaf, this is the village that Naruto lives in. It is a ninja village in the land of Fire, and is the oldest of the ninja villages. It was started by two clans, the Senju clan and the Uchiha clan.

Sand—Another Hidden Village. There are a few others, like the village hidden in the mist (mist), but I do not remember all of their names. Sand and Leaf are generally the most important two.

Hokage—The leader of the ninjas in Leaf, he is the most revered and capable ninja in the village. The other hidden village leaders have their own names.

Chakra—Ninjas in this land are not just black-wearing, sneaky people. They can fight, but they also can use special styles of fighting, such as controlling shadows, using mind control techniques, and controlling bugs, to name a few. To do this, however, they need chakra, which is basically the combined physical and spiritual energy of a person. Some people have more chakra than others. When a person uses up all of their chakra, they die.

Taijutsu—This is basic fighting stuff. Kicking, punching, dodging, speed, agility, etc…

Ninjutsu—Generally, when someone talks about “jutsus” they are referring to ninjutsu. Ninjutsu is created by using certain hand motions (usually) and channeling chakra to specific parts of the body in order to do magicky stuff. Basic ninjutsus include creating clones, transforming into other people, and substitution jutsus (basically, you are about to get sliced up, so you change places with a nearby log or rock or something at the last minute to save yourself). However, they can get more complicated, depending on the user’s clan specialties and elemental affinities.

Biju—The biju are nine demon spirits—one tails, two tails, three tails, four tails, five tails, six tails, seven tails, eight tails, and nine tails. Originally, they were one entity, but a legendary guy called the Sage of Six Paths trapped them inside himself and split them up before he died (which is how the moon was created, but I’m not going into that). They take the form of animals, and they occasionally pop up out of nowhere and start attacking things and killing people, because they are evil. The only way to stop them is to seal them inside people. They are malicious, but incredibly powerful and dangerous, and can be controlled by very few.

Jinchuuriki—These are people who have biju sealed inside them. Because they host the demon spirits, they are often granted advantages such as strength, temporary invulnerability (which comes with great risks), and excesses of chakra given to them by the demon spirits as ‘rent’. However, often, if a seal is not properly made, or if the jinchuuriki uses too much of the biju’s chakra, these people can easily go crazy or psychotic, giving into the demon’s desire to kill. Because people associate them with the demons, they are often ostracized by other ninja.

Clan—A large family of ninja. They tend to have similar characteristics and abilities, and pass down jutsus.

Kekkei Genkai—This is a special bloodline trait that is passed down in clans. The Uchiha clan, for example, has the sharingan, magical eyes that some members develop over time. The Hyuuga clan has an ocular kekkei genkai as well, the byakuugan. Other kekkai genkai can include affinities for multiple elements or the ability to control the growth and regrowth of bones.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:26 am

PLOT SUMMARIES:

Naruto’s Childhood and Academy Years:
Naruto Uzumaki, the main character, starts out as a student in the ninja academy. He is an orphan, with no idea who his parents are. He is ostracized by pretty much everyone in Leaf because he is a jinchuuriki. The nine-tailed fox demon, Kyuubi, attacked Leaf on the day when Naruto was born, and the Fourth Hokage sealed the demon inside him to save the village. The Fourth Hokage is his father, but he does not know that because very few people in the village know that. The Fourth Hokage meant for Naruto to be considered a hero, but he is generally hated by the adults in the village who were alive for the nine tails attack. The students were not told about Naruto's being a jinchuuriki, but their parents discouraged them from having much contact with him. Naruto has very unhealthy eating habits because he has mostly taken care of himself--he is especially fond of ramen, and has no desire to eat vegetables, or really anything healthy.

In ninja school, he goofs off to get attention; he wears bright orange, is loud and obnoxious, has a reputation for being an idiot, and regularly fails at even the simplest jutsus because he has virtually no control over his chakra. He aims to make people laugh and to cause trouble because it is the only way he gets any attention at all. He fails the graduation exam several times, and only graduates when he is tricked into stealing an important scroll with forbidden jutsus. He defeats the guy who tricked him, learns one of the forbidden jutsus, and saves the day.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:45 am

MORE DEFINITIONS:

Genjutsu--Illusions, basically. Genjutsus are used against people in many different ways, using the various senses. Genjutsus can be combatted, but only if you can spot them. More complex genjutsus can force a person to relive their worst memories over and over, for example, while simpler ones can disorient a person or confuse them. The range of genjutsus are very wide.

Sharingan--The sharingan are special eyes. They manifest in members of the Uchiha clan. They are red with black commas in them, and they allow for the ninjas to read, predict, and copy the movements and jutsus of other ninjas. They allow the Uchihas to see through genjutsus and other illusions. When the bearer of a sharingan feels guilty for killing their best friend, it triggers a higher level of sharingan, called the Mangekyo Sharingan. It allows for stronger powers, such as fire that burns as hot as the sun and the ability to use genjutsu to plunge a person into the nightmare realm, but it slowly renders the user completely blind. The only way to regain their vision is to steal the eyes of another mangekyo sharingan user, developing a form called the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan.

Byakuugan--This is the ocular kekkei genkai of the Hyuuga clan. It allows for 360 degree vision, as well as x-ray vision.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:51 am

TEAM SEVEN:

After graduating from the academy, Naruto is technically a ninja, although it is in a lower order, called the genin. The genin are paired into groups of three, with a more advanced ninja in charge to oversee missions. His team is called Team Seven, and his teammates are Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto’s rival, and Sakura Haruno, who Naruto has a huge crush on (although she is a complete Sasuke fangirl and pretty much hates Naruto). Sasuke was at the top of their class in the ninja academy, coming from a reputable clan, while Naruto was at the very bottom of the class. There is lots of ho yay and one canon accidental kiss between Sasuke and Naruto (there is another in a filler anime episode later on). Sasuke’s entire clan was killed off by his older brother, Itachi, when Sasuke was eight. He has sworn revenge on him, and is only working through the ninja ranks in order to become strong so he can kill his brother and avenge his clan. Sasuke is obsessed with revenge, but at this point in the game, he is a cute and emo little child who is constantly fighting and competing with Naruto. The girls all seem to love him, even though he never exhibits any interest whatsoever in anyone, girl or guy. He talks little and has a habit of saying “hn” very stoically. Sakura is an intelligent girl, but early on, she does not have many practical skills. She has a bit of a temper and is obsessed with Sasuke, and we are told she was teased as a child because she had a high forehead. She has expert control of her chakra, but she also has the least chakra of the three team members. Naruto has the most chakra at this point, thanks to hosting the kyuubi, but he has the least control. Sakura, however, also starts out being completely useless. In most of the early major conflicts, she sits on the sidelines and cries. She does become stronger and more useful eventually, though. Team Seven’s leader is Kakashi, who is very stoic but cheerful and has a penchant for reading porn. He is the student of Minato, the Fourth Hokage. He covers one of his eyes most of the time, and is never seen without the bottom half of his face covered. He is perpetually late. He is a very well-known ninja, called “Kakashi the copy ninja” because he has learned over 1,000 jutsus. The eye that he covers is a sharingan, which was given to him by his best friend and team member Obito Uchiha. Obito died on a mission, and Kakashi blames himself. It is because of this sharingan that he is able to learn so many jutsus, although he does cannot use the sharingan as well as a member of the Uchiha clan could. He covers the sharingan because he cannot turn it off. More descriptions to come later.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:06 am

History of the Hogake (from before the story begins to current time):

There have been five throughout the course of the story: the First Hokage and Second Hokage were the brothers of the Senju clan who helped start Leaf, and both are dead by the time the story takes place. The Third Hokage, Sarutobi (his first name is like Hiruzen or something, but I can’t remember how to spell it), was a student of the Second Hokage, and was the first hokage to retire from the office. When he retired, the Fourth Hokage, Minato, (Naruto’s father) took over. However, he died during the Kyuubi attack. A suitable replacement could not be found on such short notice, so the Third Hokage came out of retirement for a while. He was killed during an invasion of sand, and there was a temporary succession problem. He had three students who could take over the job: Orochimaru, who liked experimenting on dead bodies and left Leaf to join a terrorist organization; Jiraiya, known to Naruto as Pervy Sage, who was Minato’s teacher and who has one of the most impressive information networks,as well as a published series of porn novels (he turned down the job); and Tsunade, the granddaughter of the first hokage and one of the leading medic ninjas, with superstrength and an impressive gambling debt (however, she left the village, and no one had seen her in a long time). Eventually, Tsunade was tracked down, and took over the position. At one point, though, she goes into a coma, and Danzou, a fanatical extremist (and student of the Second Hokage) takes over. However, when he is caught performing questionable acts, he is removed from the position. Kakashi is next in the line of succession, being Minato’s only surviving student, and he is about to take over as Hokage. However, Tsunade wakes up out of her coma in time, so he is saved from the responsibility and paperwork.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:22 am

Missions and the Wave Arc:

Missions are assigned to shinobi by the hokage. The village is paid when a job is completed, with some of the money going to the ninjas themselves. The amount they are paid is based on their skill level. Lower ranked ninja, like genins, get easy jobs like catching stray cats, doing yard work for villagers, and everyday chores. Those don’t pay much. More advanced ninjas get jobs like assassinations, escort duties, and other more politically-charged tasks that pose many more risks. Those pay more.

Naruto and the gang start out with easy missions, and they are all bored stiff, because they are boring jobs. Naruto complains to the Third Hokage, who is in charge at the time, and he decides to assign them what is SUPPOSED to be a slightly more difficult, but not too difficult, task. They are supposed to escort an old, drunk bridge builder to his village.

However, it turns out that said old, drunk bridge builder neglected to tell them that this was actually a really dangerous job for little genin. The bridge builder was working on completing the bridge in order to boost the economy of his small village, who had little contact with the outside world. The village’s resources were largely controlled by Gato, a powerful importing tycoon, who did not want the bridge to be built. The people were impoverished, and although people were willing to help with the bridge at first, Gato started hiring out ninjas and mercenaries to use as assassins to threaten and kill whoever worked on the bridge. Team Seven discovers this when two ninjas try to kill them; however, they agree to help the bridge builder anyway, despite the fact that they are way out of their depth (besides Kakashi, of course). A really powerful and bloodthirsty ninja/mercenary/swordsman named Zabuza targets the bridge builder next, which leads to a ridiculously drawn out filler arc. Kakashi reveals his sharingan, Sasuke gets his sharingan (they manifest at emotionally charged times) and almost dies saving Naruto (in an example of HO YAY MANIA!), Sakura cries and does nothing, and in the end, Zabuza and his “tool” (aka the only person we ever see him care about) Haku (who looks like a girl but is really a guy) both end up dead. Gato is taken down, the bridge is built, and it is named the Great Naruto Bridge. Naruto does not complain about boring missions for a while.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:31 am

THERAPY JUTSU:

This is the fandom name for Naruto’s innate ability to convince anyone that they are being really stupid, as long as he beats them up first. There are many, many characters in this series, and a large majority of them have issues. However, it seems that this series is the epitome of There Are No Therapists and There Are No Social Workers, so Naruto views it as his job to run around and convince people that there is nothing more important than peace, love, and fighting for the people that are important to you. This ability to be incredibly convincing appears first in the wave arc, and is a constant presence throughout the entire series. The only person it does not seem to work on is Sasuke, because Naruto is always either weaker than or evenly matched with Sasuke, so he cannot beat him to a pulp. The physical violence seems to be a necessity for Therapy Jutsu to work.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:52 am

Sound—Sound is another of the ninja villages. It is a smaller village, and fairly new. It is controlled by Orochimaru, and so it is generally not considered the nicest of places. Lots of minor villains are from Sound.

CHUUNIN EXAMS:

Every once in a while, an exam is held so that all the genins can try to move up a rank. The rank right above genin is chuunin. The chuunin exam is being held in Leaf, and genins from all the other ninja villages are coming in town to take the exam as well. There is one team of Sound shinobi who come to take the exam, as well as one team from Sand. It is in the Chuunin Exam arc that we meet three of my favorite characters, the Sand Siblings. We also meet the other genin from Leaf, which is exciting.

THE SAND SIBLINGS:

They are the children of the Kage (I think it is Kazekage, but I am not certain) in charge of Sand. Temari is the oldest, Kankuro is the middle child, and Gaara is the youngest. Temari is the only girl, and uses wind jutsus using a giant fan. She can also summon weasles to use in battle. Kankuro controls puppets with thin strings of chakra—the puppets have lots of hidden knives and poisoned tips. Kankuro hates children because of his experiences with his brother. Everyone is terrified of Gaara, but his siblings are more scared, because they never know if their brother will kill them or not. Gaara can control sand, and is another jinchuuriki. He is possessed by Shukaku, the one tail demon. Just like Naruto, he was hated by most of the people around him. However, unlike Naruto, he has absolutely no control over his demon whatsoever. Whenever he falls asleep for long periods of time, the demon takes over, and starts killing people. Thus, he cannot sleep much, and has gone slightly crazy. He is possessed by his demon spirit sometimes, and so he tends to be rather bloodthirsty. You know things are wrong when he starts talking out loud to his mother—his mother died in childbirth. His father was a complete and utter jerkwad, and ordered for the demon to be implanted in his son to be used as a weapon for Sand. However, when it turned out that Gaara was a bit unstable, his father repeatedly ordered to have him assassinated. Because he is possessed by Shukaku, Gaara is protected by a constantly moving layer of sand, and he had never been physically injured at all (even when he tried to hurt himself) before the Chuunin exams. He believed his mother loved him, and his mother’s brother was one of the only people to treat him with love. However, Gaara’s dad screwed that up, too—he ordered Gaara’s uncle to attempt to kill Gaara and convince Gaara that his mother did not love him at all. We later discover that Gaara’s mother DID love him, and that it is because of his mother’s love that the sand will protect him until the day he dies. However, until then, he enjoys killing people. Naruto fixes that with a healthy dose of Therapy Jutsu, and Gaara and Naruto become close friends.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:00 am

NARUTO’S DREAM:
Naruto is treated like crap as a kid. So, in order to keep himself sane, he decides he has to have a goal. His goal throughout the series is to earn the respect of the people of Leaf, so that he can become Hokage. Although Naruto is often viewed as an idiot, he is not a slacker; we see him working very hard not only to master the jutsus that seem beyond him, but we see him work tirelessly to gain the respect of his fellow shinobi. His first major breakthrough is when he is acknowledged by his academy teacher, Iruka. Iruka’s parents were killed during the Kyuubi attack, and he did not like Naruto or trust him at first, like many in the village. However, he eventually comes around, and once Naruto graduates, he regularly treats him to ramen. Naruto is eventually recognized by his teammates, and then by more and more ninja, and he grows from being the obnoxious, stupid kid to a more mature, respectable, powerful ninja who could realistically become Hokage.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:19 am

TEAM EIGHT:
There are two other teams of genin from Leaf, Team Ten, and Team Eight. Team Eight is formed by Hinata Hyuuga, Kiba Inuzuka, and Shino Aburame, and their team leader is Kurenai. Hinata is a very shy, self-conscious young girl, and is one of the few non-Sasuke fangirls. Instead, she is a Naruto fangirl, although she is not as obnoxious about it as Sakura is about Sasuke. Hinata is from the reputable Hyuuga clan, so she has the ocular Byakuugan, which allows her to have x-ray vision and see 360 degrees around. She fights mostly using taijutsu using a technique passed down through the clan called “Gentle Fist.” The Byakuugan allows its user to see the flow of chakra in their opponents. This allows her to use gentle fist, where she directs her own chakra through her limbs and is able to stop or redirect the flow of her opponent’s chakra. If done properly, this technique can not only prevent her opponent from using jutsus (if they cannot access their chakra properly, they cannot use jutsus), but it can also cause internal damage to bodily organs, since the chakra network is very closely tied to internal body structures. Gentle fist is a close-range fighting technique which requires precise chakra control. Hinata is the heir to the main branch of her clan, and she could potentially be the head of her clan someday. However, her lack of confidence is often a detriment, and she is considered weaker than her younger sister by many members of her clan, including her father. Her other team members constantly work to help bolster her self confidence, though. Kiba is from a clan which is known for their connection to dogs, so he almost always fights with his dog and best friend, Akamaru. In personality, he is rather like Naruto, being rather rash and loud. He also frequently caused trouble in school, since he always had too much energy. However, unlike Naruto, he seems to be able to calm down and think rationally at times, especially around Hinata and Shino. When he fights, he often adopts more doglike features, and sometimes even combines his body and Akamaru’s to form a two-headed dog thing. Shino is Kiba’s polar opposite. He talks very little, but when he does talk, he is generally sarcastic or moping, because he is frequently left out or forgotten (although the fact that he wears a hood up to his nose, sunglasses, and later on, a HOOD AS WELL, does not help much. His hair seems to be his only identifying feature, and when the hood covers that up, how can Naruto be expected to recognize him?). I love Shino, but he is a bit creepy. His clan has passed down a tradition of allowing chkara-eating beetles to reside in their bodies, in exchange for their help in battle. They are good for scouting, tracking, passing along messages, and general battle use. He seems to be much more rational than Kiba, and much more confident than Hinata, and between the three of them, the group balances each other out. Kurenai is a character we know little about, besides the fact that she mostly uses genjutsu and is secretly dating Asuma, the leader of Team Ten.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:45 am

TEAM TEN: INO SHIKA CHO
Team Ten is made up of Ino Yamanaka, Shikamaru Nara, and Chouji Akamichi, with the team leader being Asuma Sarutobi. The three continue on a tradition of collaboration between their clans, and are the second generation of Ino Shika Cho (their parents had very similar names). They are renowned for their teamwork. Ino is Sakura’s best friend and rival—she helped Sakura get over her insecurity about her forehead, and was her best friend until she and Sakura both started fangirling Sasuke. Sakura told Ino that she could no longer be her friend, but would only be her love rival. Ino uses mind control jutsus passed down through her clan. In the beginning, she can only use mind possession jutsu, where she temporarily leaves her body and resides in her enemy’s. However, this jutsu is risky, because if she fails to possess her enemy, she cannot immediately return to her body. Also, any harm that is done to the body she is in is transferred to her own body when she switches back. Later on, she develops a much less risky jutsu which allows her to use mind control from further away. Ino is stubborn, determined, and self-assured, and the job of motivating her teammates often falls to her. She takes the lead most of the time, unless strategy is required. Then, she lets Shikamaru take the reins. Shikamaru (pretty much my favorite character in the entire series) is the brains of the trio, although you would never be able to tell based on his performance at the ninja academy. He and Choji completed the foursome of troublemakers (Naruto, Kiba, Shikamaru, Choji). Shikamaru is the epitome of Brilliant but Lazy. He has an IQ of around 200, but he did not want to lift up his pencil in school to take notes or to answer questions on quizzes, so he fails. His catchphrase is “How troublesome” or “What a drag,” and unless he is properly motivated, he is content to do nothing but sit around and watch the clouds all day. He wishes to be a cloud. He is also very good at shogi, which is Japanese chess. Shikamaru is a very good judge of character, and when everyone else looked down on Naruto, he did not dismiss him, deciding that he was a bit obnoxious, but a very interesting kind of guy. He does not like Sasuke. He is a brilliant strategist. He fights using the clan-inherited ability to manipulate shadows. Originally, he can only use shadow possession jutsu, where he uses his shadow and surrounding shadows to attach themselves to a person. If he is successful, he can control the person’s movements for limited periods of time, because he does not have much in the way of chakra. Later on, he develops the ability to use shadows to strangle people. He aspires to mediocrity—all he wants in life is to be an average ninja, marry a pretty but not too pretty woman, have two kids (one girl and one boy), and retire when his son becomes a shinobi and his daughter marries. He wants to have a happy retirement, full of chess and staring at clouds, and to die before his wife. Choji is his best friend, a kindhearted person who was not treated kindly by others because he was fat and not brilliant. He is slightly insecure and constantly eating, because his clan’s techniques use the calories and body fat stored up to get more energy. His jutsus are more physical than either of his teammates’, and he can expand all of or parts of his body in order to attack. He often curls up into a ball and rolls at his opponent at high speeds. He is the perfect friend for Shikamaru, because he is very sweet and low-maintenance. He is just happy to have a good friend, who is nice to him and who is willing to believe in him. He is actually very strong, but he does have much confidence in himself. Asuma Sarutobi is the son of the Third Hokage. He has a wind affinity, which is apparently rare (Naruto has a wind affinity as well. Sasuke has fire and lightning. Kakashi has lightning.). We originally do not know much about Asuma, but throughout the story, we discover bits and pieces about his history. He had a rebellious phase where he left Leaf, against his father’s wishes, and became involved in a temple kind of thing, where he apparently was successful and powerful enough to get a bounty placed on his head by some bad guys. Later on, he dies, but not before getting together with Kurenai. They have a child. Asuma has a terrible smoking habit, and he regularly offers to treat his team to barbeque in order to motivate them, since they are generally a lazy, easy-going bunch.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:25 am

TEAM GAI:
Team Gai is the only team we get to see from the grade above Naruto. The team members are Tenten, Neji Hyuuga, and Rock Lee, and their mentor is Maito Gai (Or, depending on the translation, Might Guy/Mighty Guy). Tenten is one of my favorite characters, which is really weird because she is the most minor of the Leaf genin that we see. However, she seems to be one of the few girls in the series who is not a Sasuke fangirl and who actually can fight fairly decently, so that is a plus. Sadly, she is not even given a last name. She fights using mostly weapons. She can summon them in the middle of a battle. However, in fan works, she is most frequently displayed as being one of the most reasonable of the girls. She is Neji’s training partner. Neji is Hinata’s cousin. His dad and her dad were twins; however, Hinata’s dad was born first, making him a member of the main family, while Neji’s dad was born into the branch family. Neji is resentful of Hinata’s status as a member of the main family, and because of his own status and his father’s bitterness, he has been raised with a severe obsession with fate. I’ll get into his family’s mess in more detail in a minute or two, because that goes above Neji. Anyway, Neji, being a member of the Hyuuga clan, also uses gentle fist techniques. However, he is considered better at fighting than Hinata, because he has better chakra control and is better at deflecting attacks. He can see individual chakra points, spots on the body where chakra tends to congregate. Just like Sasuke, he was considered a prodigy at school, always at the top of his class. He does not talk much and he does not really have much respect for most other people. He eventually gets better, thanks to a healthy dose of therapy jutsu, and loosens up a bit. Lee considers Neji his eternal rival. Lee is a strange boy. When he was born, his chakra coils were not developed correctly… or something like that. Basically, he cannot use genjutsu or ninjutsu at all, and relies solely on taijutsu. Although he is not a genius or prodigy like Neji, he considers himself a genius at hard work, because of the sheer (and ridiculous) amount of effort he puts into his speed and physical strength. He regularly sets ridiculously high and seemingly unattainable goals for himself, because it is his ninja way (to be discussed later). At this point, he is considered very strong. However, the further along he goes, the more he is surpassed by his fellow students that CAN use ninjutsu and genjutsu. He has a bowl cut, bushy eyebrows, and regularly wears a ridiculous-looking green spandex bodysuit thingy. He took this style of dress from his teacher, Gai, who he absolutely idolizes to the point of becoming Mini!Gai. Gai also uses predominately taijutsu, and has declared himself Kakashi’s eternal rival (despite the fact that Kakashi rarely acknowledges him). Gai and Lee regularly cry manly tears and ramble on about youthfulness. Gai thinks Kakashi is “hip”, and regularly challenges him to whatever he can think of at the time (for example, eating contests, rock paper scissors, races, who can defeat a higher number of enemy nin, etc…). Gai was the first person to display a strong sense of faith in Lee, and he has made it his mission in life to make sure that Lee becomes the strongest shinobi he can.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:53 am

History of the Hyuuga clan:
The Hyuuga clan is highly respected because of the byakuugan, their special eyes. However, a major concern to them is the possibility that once a member of the clan dies, someone will steal his or her eyes in order to steal or work out the secrets of the byakuugan. So, they have separated the family into the main family and the branch family. The main family’s job is to head the clan. The branch family’s job is to protect the main clan. Because the main family is in charge and can do pretty much whatever they want, they put a special seal on the foreheads of the branch family members. This seal, called the caged bird seal, has special qualities that can force branch members to submit and obey to the wishes of the main family. It also works to destroy the byakuugan of the dead branch members, so their eyes cannot be taken. This practice is a huge injustice, because the main family forces it on the branch family to protect themselves, but has no system to destroy their own byakuugan.

Neji is a member of the branch family, and completely resents not only the caged bird seal being put on his head, but the fact that Hinata’s father used it on Neji’s father right in front of little!Neji. Hinata’s dad, his twin brother, was born only a few minutes before him, yet Hinata’s dad became head of the clan while Neji’s dad became the branch family. Thus, Neji’s dad was vocal about his distrust and hate of the main family.

The Hyuuga clan is a part of Leaf. Leaf went to war. However, ninja wars between the villages are way too frequent, and they had just gotten out of another war, and so the Third Hokage wanted to make peace. However, the only way that the other side (it might have been Sand?) would sign a treaty was if they were given the dead body of Hinata’s dad. Hinata was also kidnapped or something, but I don’t remember the specifics. Either way. Their goal was to be able to learn the secrets of the byakuugan. Hinata’s dad was willing to give himself over for the good of the village. However, the other important clan leaders refused to go along with this plan, and asked Neji’s dad (they were identical twins) to die for the clan instead. They said it was his duty as part of the branch family. Although he resented the main family, it was his job to protect them, as well as to protect the byakuugan (they could get rid of Neji’s dad’s eyes using the seal, but not Hinata’s dad’s). However, he agreed not because it was his duty. He agreed because he loved his brother, and wanted to save his life. So, Hinata’s dad lived on as head leader of the clan, the alliance was forged, and Neji’s dad died. No one ever told Neji that his dad willingly volunteered to die, so he blamed Hinata and her dad for taking away his dad, and grew to hate the main family even more. He believes he is fated to get screwed over by the main family. This changes, of course, thanks to therapy jutsu and someone finally explaining to him what happened, but for most of the chuunin exam arc, we see him being bitter and obsessed with fate. And beating the crap out of poor Hinata whenever he gets the chance.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:59 am

Way of the Ninja:
Ninjas like making up rules to govern the way they live their lives. These are called “ways of ninjas.” For example, Naruto’s way of ninja involves never breaking promises, killing as little as possible, fighting for those close to him, and in general spreading peace, ending the cycle of hate that abounds in the ninja world. Sasuke’s way of ninja is basically an unhealthy obsession with hate and revenge. Once he gets revenge for one thing, he has to scramble to find another thing to get revenge for. He believes in the feudal Japanese mindset that the only way to avenge his clan is to kill off anyone and everyone who screwed them over, pretty much. Lee sets ridiculous goals for himself, and he works and works and works towards them, so that he can become a strong, honorable ninja using only taijutsu. He sets his goals, believing that if he can accomplish little things, it will help so that maybe in the future, he will fail less. Those are just a few examples, but you get the general idea.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:41 pm

The Bell Test:
You are probably not wondering “How on earth were there only nine students in their graduating class at the academy?!” but you should be! The truth is, not all the teams of three in their class continued on to become genin. The ones I wrote about up there, Ino Shika Cho, Team Seven, and Team Eight continued on to become genin because they passed a test set by their team leader.

We don’t really know anything about how the other teams were tested, but we know that Naruto’s team had to take the bell test, a test passed down from past generations. Kakashi had failed every single other team that he had tested before Naruto’s team came along. Kakashi told Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke that they should not eat breakfast before meeting him at the training grounds the next day, implying that if they ate, they’d just throw it back up after what they were going to see. When the three arrived at the training ground the next day, they were hungry, and Kakashi was not there. Kakashi is permanently late, so by the time he came, they were even more hungry. He then explained the rules of the test. He had two bells attached to his belt loop, and announced that they had to get the bells by lunchtime. However, since there were only two bells, one person would not be getting lunch, and would be tied up to a wooden post in the training ground while the others ate.

Naruto, being a knucklehead, charged right after Kakashi, only to be easily beaten away (let it be noted that almost the entire time Kakashi is fighting, he is reading porn). Sasuke and Sakura hid in the bushes while Naruto stupidly stood right out in the open. Once Naruto is taken care of, Sasuke comes out and fights Kakashi, more successfully than Naruto did. However, in the end, Sasuke ends up being defeated as well. Sakura wanders around trying to find Sasuke, and is fooled by a genjutsu where Sasuke is shown dying on the ground. Meanwhile, Naruto is back up, and sees the bells lying on the ground. It does not even occur to him that it is an obvious trap, and he runs over to get them. He gets caught in the obvious trap and ends up dangling from a tree. However, he is dangling alone, and when he sees lunch sitting unguarded, he decides that he is going to cheat and eat while everyone else was chasing after the bells. He cuts himself free and runs over to start eating. Unfortunately, Naruto gets caught by Kakashi. Kakashi ties him up to the wooden post for breaking the rules of the test, and calls the others over for lunch.

Because no one had gotten the bells, he finally explains the real reason for the test—he wanted to test their teamwork. Telling them not to eat was a trick, of course, designed to make winning lunch important. Having only two bells directly set them against each other, making it a competition. There was no way that three rookie ninja could have gone up against Kakashi to get the bells, but if they had teamed up and worked together, they might have had a shot. Instead, Naruto blindly rushed into fights and fell for obvious traps, Sasuke ignored the others’ existence, and Sakura ran around looking for Sasuke when Naruto (who is her teammate, too) was clearly in trouble. Kakashi explains that teamwork is a necessity for the three-man cells to be successful, and says that he will give the three one last chance. He says he is going to go off for a second to take care of something, and reminds Sasuke and Sakura that they are under no circumstances allowed to help Naruto or share food with him. He broke the rules of the test, and that is his punishment.

However, as soon as Kakashi leaves, Sasuke decides that they need to share their food with Naruto. Sakura is not happy about Sasuke wanting to break the rules, but when Sasuke points out that they will need Naruto to be at full strength for them to work best as a team, she relents. Kakashi catches them sharing with Naruto, and charges over. The three expect to be yelled at, but instead, Kakashi proudly announces that the three passed the test.

Kakashi explains again that they passed because they were willing to work as a team. He says that during real missions, there is the high probability that they will have to choose between following orders and saving the life of a teammate. Kakashi says, “In the ninja world, those who break the rules are trash, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash.”

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:58 pm

MORE CHARACTERS:

Kabuto is probably my least favorite character in the entire series. He starts off mostly playing Mr. Exposition in the Chuunin exam arc. He has failed the chuunin exam five or six times, because he always gets pretty far and then just gives up. Because he has taken the exam so many times, he has developed information cards which he loves dragging around. He is obsessed with Orochimaru, and is secretly a spy for Sound. He studied to be a medical ninja, but it is really kind of irrelevant. Later on in the series, his entire job seems to be running around and raising powerful ninjas from the dead and controlling them. Thus, you would think I would like him, right, because he works with zombies! Wrong. He’s bland and boring and creepy, but not even INTERESTING creepy. Anyway, yeah. Kabuto.

Orochimaru is one of the major villains in the series. He was Tsunade and Jiraiya’s team, with the Third Hokage as his teacher. Just like Sasuke, he was considered the genius/prodigy of the three. Jiraiya was his rival. However, then, he developed an obsession with learning all the jutsus in the world. So, in order to fulfill that goal, he decided he needed to live forever. Thus, he started taking apart dead bodies and doing experiments. When he was caught, he left Leaf, running off to do twisted things in the far away land of Sound. He has a contract so that he can summon snakes and use them in battle. In his quest for immortality, he learned a forbidden jutsu that allows him to switch bodies every three or four years, so he is constantly searching for bodies that he wants to snatch. He is Grand Theft Me personified. He wants Sasuke’s body, because Sasuke has the sharingan, which will help him learn lots of jutsus and become more powerful. He runs around saying, “I want you for your body,” and stuff like that. He seems to be a pied piper of sorts—he attracts all manners of young, helpless, screwed-up children. He also is very creepy and does this weird thing with his tongue and he likes putting his hands all over the children that he takes in. He is generally considered a pedophile by the fandom.

Curse Mark—Orochimaru likes putting these on people. Basically, he bites people’s necks (which is why the fandom sometimes calls them curse hickeys) and they appear. They give people lots of extra power, but they also let Orochimaru take over. They are bad news bears.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:17 pm

THE CHUUNIN EXAM: Before the First Test
To take the chuunin exam, genins have to be recommended. They have to have completed a certain number of missions and their team leader has to say they are ready for it. Usually, brand new rookie genin like Naruto do not take the chuunin exam on their first year. However, Asuma, Kurenai, and Kakashi all recommend their teams to the hokage to take the exam. Iruka freaks out, because he thinks Naruto is not ready, but Kakashi is the one who gets the final say.

Kakashi tells the genin about the chuunin exams, and hands them forms with information. He tells them that it is okay if they don’t want to take it—Naruto and Sasuke, of course, immediately say they will, but Sakura is unsure. She saw how useless she was during the Wave Arc, and she worries she will not be able to do much good in the chuunin exam. However, in the end, she decides she will take it with the other two.

They go to the area where the exams are, only to discover that everyone is standing on the wrong floor. The judges used a genjutsu to make the second floor look like the third floor, but Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke have no problems working it out and pointing it out to everyone. Through this, they meet Lee, Neji, and Tenten. Lee immediately declares that he loves Sakura and will always protect her, and since she loves Sasuke, he decides he wants to challenge him. Lee and Sasuke fight, and Sasuke is losing badly when they realize that they need to go off to take the first test.

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PostSubject: Re: Naruto in a Nutshell   Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:11 am

The First Test:

They are told that the first test is a written exam that they must take as a group. The proctor is Ibiki, who works in the intelligence/interrogation department. All the candidates are handed a sheet of paper, and they are told they should not cheat. If a person gets caught cheating, points are taken of his or her score. If the person is caught cheating four times, they get a zero, and are forced to leave the testing room. They fail. If one person fails the test, the entire team they are on fails the test.

The test is only nine questions, with a tenth question that is given 45 minutes after the test starts. The questions are deliberately designed so that most people at genin level will not be able to answer them. Thus, the point of the test is not seeing how much they know or how smart they are, but how good they are at being sneaky. Cheating is expected, as part of the exam. One person is given the answers, and everyone else is supposed to cheat. However, what is not acceptable is getting caught.

Sasuke uses his sharingan to copy the movements of other students in the room. Sakura answers the questions on her own, since she is smart and can handle it all. Naruto does not figure out that cheating is the point, and he doesn't write anything down. Hinata and Neji use their byakuugans. Hinata is sitting right next to Naruto, and offers to share answers with him, but he turns her down because he does not want to get caught, and does not want to cheat. Shino uses his bugs to fly around the room and watch for answers, and then he shares them with Kiba. Ino knows Sakura probably knows the answers, so she uses her mind possession jutsu to take over Sakura, look at her paper, and pass along the answers to Shikamaru and Choji. Gaara uses his sand to create a third eye, which he hooks up to his optic nerves and uses to spy. He writes down the answers and passes them to Kankurou, who pretends to need a bathroom break. They allow him to go as long as he has a proctor watching him; however, he has Crow (a puppet of his) pretend to be a proctor, and he copies down the answers Gaara gave them. When he walks back, he slips the answers to Temari.

The tenth question comes along, and Naruto is freaking out. He has nothing written down, and if he fails, his teammates all fail, too. Everyone knows he is not good at written tests. Ibiki then explains the rules of the tenth question. The genin must first decide if they want to take the question. If they take the question, they could get it right and pass. However, if they take the question and get it wrong, they cannot ever take the chuunin exam again. If they don't want to risk it, they could opt out of taking the question, but giving up means that the entire team doesn't get to continue.

Naruto knows that he has to take the tenth question if he wants he and his teammates to pass. Otherwise, he'd get zero points, and he'd fail. However, his teammates are worried for him. If he takes the last question and fails, he could never take the chuunin exam again. Sakura in particular almost raises her hand, saying she would quit. If she quit, Naruto could not accept the question, and they'd be saved. Lots of people give up and walk out. Sakura is about to raise her hand when Naruto raises his. Sakura thinks he is going to give up, but instead, he gives a very Naruto-like speech about never giving up, because it is his ninja way. His speech convinces lots of other people to stay as well, and take the last question.

However, then, Ibiki announces that everyone who stayed passed. The tenth question was whether or not to take the tenth question. The idea is that people who are going to be ninjas should be willing to accept missions, even if they are difficult and risky. One should not back out of a mission just because of the uncertainty that comes with the missions. The first part of the test didn't really matter, except for to weed out the candidates who shouldn't be there at all. If a person couldn't cheat without getting caught, they don't deserve to be a chuunin.

Naruto's team, Hinata's team, Shikamaru's team, Gaara's team, Kabuto's team, and the random sound team all continued on, as well as lots of random teams who are stock teams we never actually really meet. Later on, after the test, Ibiki goes though and picks up all the test papers. When he sees that Naruto didn't answer a single question and still managed to pass, he shook his head and declared that Naruto was an interesting guy.

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